Every Cloud has a Silver Lining (sometimes even two)

I have been doing a lot of sitting down this week – and no, it’s not because I’m lazy, but for two reasons; because firstly I sprained my ankle and can’t walk and secondly I have been working on three paintings to enter for a competition. What I have learned from this week is that…

Addictive Art Materials

Charcoal and soft pastels are addictive. Admittedly they are not in the class-A drug category of heroin or cocaine and there doesn’t need to be a government health warning about them, but there is something about their versatility that makes them so appealing. For the artist, charcoal and soft pastels are extremely satisfying to use;…

A Botanical Paradise

After nearly three years of living in Tanzania, I am still amazed at the botanical paradise which surrounds me everyday, all year round. From the hibiscus flowers and bird of paradise plants in private gardens, public municipal areas and hotels, to hedgerows at bus-stops heavy with bougainvillea and frangipani petals lying on the floor, the…

Dadas at the fish market

I’ve been painting this picture in my head for months now. The Kivukoni Fish Market in Dar Es Salaam is always busy. Both inside and outside the market walls there are scores of people; inside fishermen and traders huddle together around the many different catches of the day, outside house dadas dressed in brightly printed…

Regressing to my teenage gothic self at Whitby Abbey

One hundred and ninety nine steps up from a harbour town stands the imposing Gothic remains of a 13th Century abbey. On a clear day you can see for miles around, out to the North Sea on one side and across the Yorkshire moors on the other. And on days when the weather is rainy…

Buying and Selling Bananas in Kenya

This is my latest painting, a watercolour of a group of women buying and selling bananas and mangoes at a street-side market in Kisii, a town in south-west Kenya. The painting was done from a quick sketch I did some months ago while travelling from Mwanza in Tanzania to Nairobi.

Colours Speak Louder Than Words

The colours in Tanzania are so vibrant and varied that I am almost certain there must be more shades here than there were in England, my homeland. I used to take many photographs in black and white, but in Dar Es Salaam, it seems such a waste to ignore the vast spectrum of shades that…